The End of Revolving-Door Leadership
4. Hardwire employee thank-you notes.
I am a big advocate of sending thank-you notes to employees who do an excellent job. But that doesn’t mean just sending the occasional note when someone goes far above the call of duty. It means literally mandating a specific number of thank-you notes for leaders to send to the people they supervise. Thank-you notes don’t just happen. If they aren’t hardwired into an organization, they don’t get written. And a thank-you note is just too powerful a tool not to use. People love receiving thank-you notes. They cherish them.
The best thank-you notes are:
* Specific, not general. A thank-you note that focuses on something specific the recipient has done is far more effective than one that reads, “Hey, nice job!”
* Handwritten, if possible. Most people would rather receive a three-sentence handwritten note than a two-page typed letter. It’s more authentic and special.
* Sent to the employee’s home. When an employee receives a thank-you note at home, it feels more personal than one laid on her desk along with a stack of reports and memos.
5. Measure customer/donor service and satisfaction … and strive to move 4s to 5s.
I am a big believer in measurement. Measure what matters, and measure it often; it’s the best way to change employee behavior. Customer satisfaction is one of the biggies, and many companies miss the mark. Most service rating systems are done on a five-point scale: 5 is excellent or superior, 4 is very good, 3 is good or average, 2 is less than average, and 1 is very poor. Too often, companies focus on the 1s and 2s when they should be targeting the 4s.
You’ll never win over the 1s and 2s, so just let them go. Here’s why you should focus on the 4s: They are quietly satisfied. They may come back again, but they won’t bring others back with them. Fives, on the other hand, are more vocal. They are advocates for your organization. The more 5s you have, the more positive word-of-mouth you get, and the more positive word-of-mouth you get, the more support you get. Great companies must have at least 70 percent of their customer satisfaction scores in the 5s.